Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No withdrawal of subsidy on fossil fuel: Farooq

NEW DELHI, Feb 4: The Government today said it can ill afford to withdraw subsidy on fossil fuel as the move would hit the poor man hard, even as it appealed to the global community to remove barriers on technology transfer to tackle the challenges of climate change and protect environment.

"The subsidy has to continue for our people till poverty disappears," New and Renewable Energy Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah said.

He feared withdrawal of subsidy on fossil fuel like diesel will hit the poor man hard and further push up the inflation figure.

The Union Minister said this at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit here while reacting to Canadian Parliamentarian Stephane Dion’s appeal to phase out diesel subsidy.

He appealed to the global community to overcome mutual differences and join hands to contain climate change and help poor countries fight environmental degradation.

"This is a small world. Unless we protect it. If we think I have to protect myself and not the other person, we are failing to understand the tragedy that is going to befall our children," he said.

Regretting that little progress could be achieved in Copenhagen and in Cancun on the issue of climate change, he called for an "honest" approach by the nations to address the problem.

"We should meet this challenge by working with each other, remove the barriers of technology transfer. It would be impossible for poorer nations to afford those devices that are needed to protect the environment," he said.

Stating that renewable energy and nuclear energy are being explored here as alternative fuels, he urged countries with expertise to help India attain efficiency in these areas.

He said while the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission has been launched to generate 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022, the Government was exploring the possibility of using geo-thermal energy in areas with wide use of diesel.

"We are also generating from wind energy nearly 12,000 MW of power. Now we intend to go into the sea and exploit tidal wave. For all these we need other countries to help us," he said.

Meanwhile, a high-level delegation led by Ms. Paula Lehtomaki, Minister of Environment of Finland called on Dr Farooq Abdullah, Minister for New and Renewable Energy here today.

The delegation included among others Director of International Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Forest and Political Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Environment & Forests of Finland. The Finland Minister is in Delhi for attending the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Finland, located in Northern Europe, is the fifth largest country in Europe with strong technical and industrial capacity in the field of biomass energy, municipal waste and hydro power. Twenty per cent of its total energy is derived from renewable energy sources mostly from biomass and wastes. India and Finland already have an on-going mechanism of cooperation in the field of renewable energy under the aegis of Joint Working Group on Clean Technology and Waste Management.

During the meeting, Dr Abdullah and Ms. Lehtomaki discussed areas of potential cooperation between the two countries in the field of renewable energy. They agreed that there is tremendous scope for understanding and exchanges in the sphere of renewables, especially bio-fuels, waste to energy and in sustainable development. The Finnish Minister invited Indian renewable energy companies and entrepreneurs to collaborate with their Finnish counterparts to the mutual benefit of both countries. (PTI)

Source: Daily Excelsior....News Page

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